Zumba is a fun, effective way to lose weight and work exercise into your already busy schedule. Even a quick 30-minute routine can get your heart rate up and work on various parts of your body all at the same time, which is the key to effective exercise.
Basic Zumba centers around four different types of dance: cumbia, merengue, reggaeton and salsa. While most intensive, hourlong workouts might include a couple of sessions from each dance type, a good bet for getting in a well-rounded, 30-minute session is to rotate through one song from each type. Once you add in a warm-up and a cooldown, you're at the half-hour mark — it's better than a power nap!
Warm-ups are important because they *surprise, surprise* stretch and warm up your muscles. That helps you become less susceptible to sprains and muscle pulls.
Cumbia music and dance has a mix of African and Hispanic roots. At one time, it was even used as a courtship dance! Cumbia music usually has fairly distinct and often tribal drumming.
Merengue is often one of the faster sets in Zumba. But historically, merengue is also known for being extremely sensual. If you look closely, you might spot some slightly familiar moves to those seen in music videos.
Reggaeton is actually a fairly new type of music and dance. It's a blend of Jamaican and Latin-American musical influences. In the dancing, you'll see a lot of similarities to salsa. Everyone from Daddy Yankee to Shakira have recorded reggaeton.
Of all the Zumba dances, we're sure you're most familiar with the Cuban and Puerto Rican dance of salsa. Salsa revolves around one basic step and hip motion than can be altered from dancing in place to moving across the floor. It's all about the hips and what you do with your hands!
Don't drop to the floor just yet! Before you end your workout, make sure you do a proper cooldown to avoid dizziness and extra sore muscles. Plus, cooldowns feel more like fun, crazy interpretive dance. So, why not?
Got it? Awesome! Once you think you've mastered the basics, don't feel like you have to stick to the videos. Find a good, inspiring and body-moving playlist and try it on your own. May we suggest this one?
That's more than enough songs to get you through those fun, easy 30 minutes. Pick the ones that make you want to move the most and get to shakin' those hips!
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